Jay-Z Has Some Ideas for His Next Project Based on the Current State of America
Throughout his storied career, JAY-Z has used succinct spurts of potent lyricism to render complex societal phenomena into readily digestible bits of information. On one level or another, every Hov album from Reasonable Doubt to 4:44 has been emblematic of the time they were released, and it looks like his follow-up to 4:44 will follow that pattern. Hov hints at as much in a new interview with BBC Radio 1's Clara Amfo.
During a conversation encompassing everything from family to 4:44 to Barack Obama, Hov reveals that the perceived racism of White House officials and events like the White supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. have given him ideas for a new album. Fans shouldn't expect all gloom and doom from Hov, though, as he believes Black people are built to endure much more suffering than has been dealt so far, and a brighter day is just ahead.
"I believe that everything that happens in life is for your greatest good, and I don't think that this is happening if we weren't prepared to handle it," Hov tells Amfo. "So I'm just actually looking forward to what's next after that, because usually when things are darkest, then light is on its way. So, I'm not fearful, you know, I believe that we're resilient, we've been—especially us, as Black people, especially the culture—we've been through so much more than this guy."
Later on, Hov appears to reference Donald Trump, saying he can't take the president seriously. "You know, this guy, I'm looking at it him like, 'Man, this is a joke.' You know, with all—I can't even say with all due respect. With all disrespect," the Brooklyn stalwart says while breaking out into a bit of laughter. From there, he goes on to say that those ignoring the suffering of others will have to deal with the consequences one way or another, and that's a concept he doesn't think the man he's referring to understands.
"Yeah, I just think there's—you know—he's not a very sophisticated man. Especially when it comes to, you know, the ideas of—until everyone's free, no one is free, period," Hov affirms. "That's just a fact. We are all linked some kind of way. So if you oppress a certain people, everyone's in danger."
"You know, 'cause if I'm being oppressed and you have this big nice mansion with all this—I'm coming inside there," he continues. "That's just gonna happen. That's just how life is. On just a practical level, that just makes sense. On a spiritual, karmic level, if we're all children of God, then we're all brothers and sisters, and at some point, if you are doing that to your brother, then that can't last."
While Hov did help former President Obama during his 2008 campaign and has often commented on the social and economic landscape of the U.S., he's only really interested in politics when it comes to their intersection with humanity.
"I don't think I was politically astute ever. I just care about people. I think politics is a divisive thing," Hov says. He goes on to say politicians lose touch with the reason their political parties were created in the first place, saying that the fate of other human beings shouldn't be left up to a power struggle and that people's well-being shouldn't be a partisan issue.
"It's people attached to these laws, and I think that they've forgotten that piece. That these things are going to affect real life people," Hov tells Amfo before briefly touching on the perceived ways prison laws have affected urban communities.
After speaking with Amfo in the Live Lounge, JAY performs his 4:44 cut "Family Feud" and pays tribute to late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington by performing his "Encore/Numb" mashup.
Check out Hov's Live Lounge interview below. The bits about the climate of the U.S. come in at around the 13:20 mark, while Hov's brief, but telling confirmation of the inspiration for his 4:44 follow-up comes in at around 15:15. Watch Hov's performance below that.
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